Lucy Maude Montgomery—or Maud (without the e), as she affectionately liked to be called—is best known for her eight “Anne” books, beginning with Anne of Green Gables and ending with Anne of Ingleside. The series stars the orphan Anne, who finds a home by getting adopted by a brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, who farm on Prince Edward Island. Montgomery wrote similar stories with female protagonists, such as Emily in Emily of New Moon, Emily Climbs, and Emily’s Quest; Pat in Pat of Silverbush and Mistress Pat; and Jane in Jane of Lantern Hill, but the Anne series became the most famous and Prince Edward Island the setting for all but one of her twenty-one novels.
It can be argued that Montgomery’s characters were autobiographical. Montgomery was a writer at heart, keeping a journal as a child, and imagining all sorts of characters. She wrote her first poem at nine, sent many off for publication at twelve, and published her first poem in the local paper at fifteen. The story of Anne began as a note in one of her daybooks. Maud sometimes thought of herself as an orphan, and she read books such as Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess (1905) and Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield (1849-1850).
Maud was the only child of Hugh John Montgomery and Clara Woolner Macneill, of upper English and Scottish society. Her mother died of tuberculosis when Maud was only twenty-one...
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